Case studies

We've worked with a lot of wonderful organizations and teams. Here's just some of the successes our clients have experienced after working with Develop Strategies Plus.

Walla Walla Public Schools

With the help of Development Strategies Plus, Washington State's Walla Walla school district is working to develop a strategic plan for the school, students, and community. Read more about the development of the strategic plan at KVEW


Medstat, a health information company, provides decision support systems, market intelligence, benchmark databases, and research for managing the purchase, administration, and delivery of health services and benefits.

When MEDSTAT acquired SysteMetrics, DSP guided the consolidated leadership team through a potentially difficult transition. With more than five years of management and executive development experience with MEDSTAT under our belt, we facilitated meetings and conducted interviews with both former leadership teams. We also built expertise and management capacity in management through one-on-one coaching and team building. As a result, we enabled two very disgruntled organizations to resolve issues and prevent turnover of key staff during the merger.

I have had the opportunity to work with Susan in a number of areas, including business development integration, executive development and teambuilding, one-on-one coaching, and the merging of organizational cultures through growth and acquisition. She and her team have always been professional and committed to doing the right thing for their clients. Her advice and business acumen are solid and the value of working with her has been paid for many times over in the results. I have worked with her at more than one company and will continue to do so.

— Deborah Gage, CEO, GTESS (Former General Manager, MEDSTAT & SysteMetrics)

Concur Technologies

Concur Technologies, provider of automated expense management solutions since 1994, is considered a world leader in their field. The company realized, however, that to remain at the top of their industry, they needed to develop organizational leaders who could push the envelope and generate fresh, innovative ideas.

Concur Technologies asked DSP to work with its leadership team and design a custom leadership building program based on the concepts presented in the book Good to Great by Jim Collins. To guide leaders from the mundane to the extraordinary, DSP designed and facilitated a series of retreats to develop the visions and values that Concur Technologies wanted as a next step in the growth of its leadership. The rigorous work brought about increased participation and more independent thinking among leaders and teams. Through careful documentation, a feasible rollout plan, and solid tools and templates for process change, Concur Technologies was equipped with tools for current and future leaders to further their personal and professional development.

Group Health Cooperative

Group Health Cooperative implemented an ERP that would drastically change how their employees performed their jobs. To prevent resistance to the ERP and the changes it would bring about, Group Health Cooperative hired DSP to design a change strategy and feedback program. We partnered with the leadership team to gather feedback and perceptions on strategy and execution. To eliminate confusion among the project teams and management, we facilitated several retreats, allowing leaders to define their vision, quantify success for the project, and clarify roles. To date, we have created a change model from which all ERP activities will follow as they implement the changes. We also documented all necessary activities to guide Group Health Cooperative through Phase II and any future rollouts. Thanks to the thorough and specific processes and strategies set forth by us, Group Health Cooperative can put its ERP into action without fearing confusion and resistance within its ranks of management and leadership. Detailed phases have made the change in process smooth and encouraging for Group Health Cooperative employees.


StatDesign, an engineering start up company, worked with companies like Ford Motor Company to prototype and design tests and mechanical system simulation. The two founding partners, though technically savvy, were unsure how to handle interpersonal problems between themselves and issues with their seven employees. StatDesign contacted DSP to perform an organizational assessment. We facilitated several meetings between the partners and employees, addressing key communications issues among team players. As key issues came to the surface during the process, the partners realized that a termination of their relationship was needed to salvage the company. We worked to develop a buyout action plan. By eliminating these previously unspoken conflicts, StatDesign built stronger employee relationships in those who remained. Through two acquisitions, the remaining founder and several other employees served as senior executives. Now at MSC Software (formerly Mechanical Dynamics), each is equipped with the communication and leadership skills to know what course of action to take when relating to others.


PPOM (Preferred Provider Organization of the Midwest) maintains the title of the largest independent health care network in the Midwest and has worked with DSP for more than nine years. This acquisition of Blue Cross/Blue Shield recently brought in DSP to address turnover issues and growing pains. We designed and administered company wide surveys to identify key issues contributing to their success and impacting their growth. We then partnered with the executive team to address the findings. We focused the management team’s energy and resources on those issues/problems having the greatest negative impact on the organization. As a result of our collaboration on a claims processing redesign, PPOM turned an estimated $150K into well over $1M in savings over a six-month period. We also conducted an assessment of management at all levels. PPOM planned to merge/form an alliance, and we evaluated "bench strength" of potential team members and provided feedback to all individuals. With encouragement through our feedback and coaching, several people with development opportunities were able to be turned around and remain with the company still in leadership roles. DSP is proud to help PPOM remain financially sound and continuously grow through acquisitions.

As an entrepreneurial company, we faced many challenges as our business rapidly grew. Susan and her team put together several interventions that enabled our organization to better address our business needs through the changes in ownership structure we have gone through. She developed a change management process especially aimed at facilitating the needs and concerns of our organization. The results exceeded our expectations and have enabled us to better develop and retain our most promising and talented staff.

— Jay Levin, President, PPOM